Great graphics, great sound, great game play... just not great overall.
I bought this game because it had the 'Forgotten Realms' tag and I enjoyed the Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance games and Demon Stone shares one of the minor characters so I hoped it would be more of the same.
From the opening chapter, I was mightily impressed. Fantastic graphics, powerful sound effects and a grand orchestral score made me think this was going to be awesome - and this section really is. You hack up orcs and trolls, fire catapults, make stealth attacks, dodge dragon's fire, blast enemies with magic... it is literally thunderous.
Unfortunately, it doesn't get any better. As you travel around the realm, the action becomes repetitive and borderline tedious. It's a shame that so much emphasis lies on the action; the effort that has gone into creating different landscapes would work so well in an exploration game. As it is, you don't get to fully appreciate the stunning visuals due to being constantly distracted by the endless barrage of enemies. In particular, The Dragon's Lair section in visually breathtaking and the accompanying music adds an intensity that has so much potential but is never taken advantage of.
This game is well thought out. Characters with individual back stories, retold cleverly in letters, discussions over camp fires and the like lend an epic feel to the proceedings. Which is what makes the following so unforgivable... IT'S TOO SHORT!
The game can be completed in 5-6 hours and is ultimately unrewarding. The chapters are varied certainly (at least graphically) but completion is a big anticlimax.
I see this game as something to keep fans occupied between now and when Baldur's Gate 3 comes out, albeit one that costs you £39.99. This would be more appropriate as a half price game and I'd rate it 6.5 /10.
As I said, if games that have production values as high as this could be channeled into an epic exploration game, their potential would be realized.
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